Religious Studies

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The Graduate Degree in Religious Studies gives students a broad perspective on the study of religion that encompasses major religious traditions across the world. The program is designed to provide the academic credentials needed to further graduate study or explore topics of interest that enable graduates to develop their practical skills for use in the church or community. To do so, students have the option to complete either a thesis or non-thesis track.

Master of Arts in Religious Studies Degree Overview
The M.A. in Religious Studies is perfect for anyone interested in pastoral leadership, nonprofit and community service, counseling, or other helping professions, as well as those interested in continuing their graduate study,

The curriculum is non-denominational and provides students the ability to learn in a neutral setting. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. Upon completion, students will have to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter through analysis of:

  • Religious texts in terms of their historical and social development and their literary value
  • The diversity of religious traditions and their significance for culture and society
  • Religious institutions and their operations
  • The individual’s religious orientation in relation to the larger society

General Degree Requirements
The Masters of Arts in Religious Studies degree requires the completion of a minimum of 30 hours, depending on the track. All students will complete 12 hours in Religion Core Course requirements and 12-21 hours of directed coursework and electives. In addition, thesis track students will complete 6 hours of Thesis Research. Non-thesis track students will complete a 3-hour religious studies project.

Required Core Course Requirements:

  • RE 516 Interpreting the Text
  • RE 527 Advanced Study of Jesus, Muhammed, and Buddha
  • RE 600 Seminar in Biblical Studies
  • RE 601 Seminar in History of Religion

Religious Studies Program Goals
The goals of the Religious Studies graduate program are to:

  • Contribute to the continuing educational needs of professionals working in churches and other non-profit agencies
  • Provide students in Alabama and surrounding areas a place where they can pursue a graduate degree in Religious Studies without having to relocate
  • Provide an academic program that values diversity and encourages dialogue as it relates to religious studies and broader cultural and political issues of the day
  • Prepare students for careers in teaching religion in public or private high schools and colleges
  • Provide for the general public’s interest in and need for the academic study of religion


Bachelor of Arts